San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

The First Employee Of the New Generation

In the early 70s, Dery decided to revive her Mom’s Tico Times. I was the first employee of the new generation. My own Mom had been the last employee of the old generation, and was clearly jealous of my being brought back into the TT fold. I was in high school at Lincoln, and my job description said something about being the school correspondent, but I was really just a gopher whom Dery kept busy doing everything she could think of.

It was my first desk job (much better than changing tires at Super Servicio), and I enjoyed it immensely.

Dery picked me up every day when she went to work (which became later every day), and took me home in the evenings.

Everything was new and exciting then. Dery smoked Capri cigarettes continuously, and would have enormous trouble getting the VW to start, into gear, and eased into traffic.

The office was on the second floor of a converted house in front of the original Tin-jo restaurant, where we faithfully went to lunch every day. Dery ordered fried rice with butter and soy sauce, and I ordered #90 con mucha mayonesa (fried shrimp).

The typewriters must have been in the Dyer family for at least 3 generations.

We printed over at her father Dick’s press shop where we were very proud of the new offset printers.

We would painstakingly retouch the negative of every page by hand, and go over the proofs of the typesetters (who didn’t speak a word of English) letter by letter. Every edition was pored over in excruciating detail, and the pride of seeing the TT for sale was overwhelming.

Those were my formative years, and it’s been downhill ever since! The sight of Dick and Dery moving ahead against all odds, day after day, and succeeding, will remain with me forever as a testament of how to make dreams come true.

–Jonathan Harris


(I am currently spending most of my time in Huntington Beach, California, with my son David, 12, and daughter Laura, 7. I travel to visit my father every 2-3 months; he still lives in our same house in Escazú.

Since departing the TT, I graduated from Lincoln, Tulane (geology), the University of Arizona (MS), and have lived and worked in Nevada, Montana, Arizona, Durango, Zacatecas, and Sinaloa, in addition to California, where I moved about 25 years ago. I spent five years managing Europe and the Middle East for an Environmental Engineering firm, and am now Director of Western North America for the same company.

Of course, I’m on airplanes quite a bit during the week, but I do my best to spend my weekends with my children. My email is jon.harris@ch2m. com, and my phone is 714/435-6323.)



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